Chenille Baby Blanket: The Anti-Tutorial

I started reading these darling posts about all of these faux chenille baby blankets and they look sooooo darling and comfy and easy to do, I thought I’d whip up a few. I was so convinced that this was going to be the thing that I was going to make for all of the pregnant people that I know (6!), that I bought the tool at Joann’s to make it easier.

PHFFFFFFT!!!!!!

OK, so maybe I missed the importance of a key word in Dana’s tutorial:

“I must point out that like most quilting, this blanket takes a while to make. It’s not as time-consuming as true quilting. But be prepared for tedious hours of sewing line after line after line and cutting, cutting, cutting. I don’t want to make it sound boring. It really is a fun project (and so cool when you see the final product washed and chenilled up). But just be prepared for the commitment and think of this cuteness laying on top of it. Totally worth it.” (bolded for my satisfaction)

In true Becky fashion, I skimmed right over that and focused on the “really fun project” part. In hindsight I see how those two items contradict SO MUCH that only one can be possible. It isn’t the “really fun project” that is the winner.

Yes, I whine. I just didn’t think that between kids, cooking, cleaning and this, that my entire weekend would be toast. Squeezing this in between all of that may also be the reason why I skim instructions/information as well. Or I read it on my tablet as I’m falling asleep in bed. Either way, I’m not the best destruction instruction follower. This does not in anyway lessen the tedious factor…just maybe explains some of the wonky factor.

So, Wonky Factor 1. I didn’t choose a lined fabric. Joann’s had flannel on sale and I saw this darling brown and light blue polka dot thing and the bill started ticketing up from there. I just moved and can’t find my longer rotary cutter guide for the life of me, so had to draw lines every inch with my smaller guide. I lose.

Teeeeeedious

As you can see, I broke up the tedious line drawing with tedious line sewing and so on. I only drew lines every inch and eye-balled sewing lines in-between. As you can see, my version of a straight line varies. I wasn’t too worried however, the dotted side lends itself to some wavy lines and the white side was going to be shredded, er, chenille.

Wonky Factor 2. Sigh. I skipped the part where she clearly explained to sew the middle line first. It really didn’t end up being a big deal other than I lost more fabric all around than I probably needed to…but not so much that I still didn’t end up with a  42″ square. No, really, this overhang hugeness was mostly from my original cavalier cutting, as I’d knew there’d be shifting. I did lose more than I needed to, admittedly.

overhang hugeness is a phrase
overhang hugeness is a phrase now – go forth and enjoy.

Oh, that lame photo from my phone looks even worse once inserted. Oh well.

Here’s where the wonky gets better. This was late Sunday night. I finally got to use my shredder. That is what it should really be called. It has a stationary rotary blade. Stationary. I don’t know why I thought the engineering would be more complicated and that it would work like a regular rotary blade just with it’s own ‘mat’ but I’m not an engineer so I like to think they can make all kinds of things that aren’t really possible. This tool hooks in the layers of fabric and you push it like you would opened scissors on wrapping paper, only with a lot more resistance. ‘Cause it’s fabric. Yeah. On a baby blanket, I rotated that blade at least 5 times to get a ‘fresh’ side…I can’t imagine the blades lasting more than 2 baby blankets at best, however, I’d have given up if I was using scissors. Sorta damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Overall, I like the tool ok, but it’s relegated to hot pads if I ever attempt this insanity again.  Small, tiny, pre-lined, hot pads.

chenille tool of insanity
chenille tool of insanity

I used a dinner plate to round the corners. I’ve never done this before! I will never ever ever miter bias tape corners again! Everything will be rounded!

plate of genius
plate of genius

When all is said and done, it’s a very substantial blanket. It has been taken outside on the grass, it has been spit up on, drooled on, rolled around on, napped on – it’s beyond comfy, cuddly, and soft. It has some weight to it, that’s for certain, which makes it a great play blanket and a lot easier to not give away. That and I want to remember why I’m never, ever doing it again.

The girls on the blanket
The girls on the blanket

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